BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Flu shots are already being offered in some places around Connecticut, but Dr. Jo-Anne Passalacqua, an infectious disease specialist at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, says people should wait to get vaccinated.
“Ideally flu shots should happen somewhere between October first and December first, that’s kind of the sweet spot because a flu vaccine only lasts about six months,” says Dr. Passalacqua.
She does urge everyone who is eligible to get a flu vaccine this year get one because the Covid-19 pandemic could complicate things.
“This year having symptoms of influenza could be misconstrued as Covid virus and that obviously has many consequences for people,” she says.
Keeping flu cases down will also prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, with a second Covid-19 wave expected in Connecticut this fall.
Dr. Passalacqua urges people not to let their guard down about the seasonal flu. Last year, the flu killed between twenty-four and sixty-two thousand people. Not nearly as many as Covid-19, but she reminds people just how dangerous it can be.
“The flu kills people every year, sometimes even young and healthy people,” says Dr. Passalacqua.
The U.S. government is also preparing for the fall. The CDC plans to purchase an additional 2 million doses of pediatric flu vaccine and 9.3 million doses of adult flu vaccine, which will be coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated.